December 2011

A monthly means to inform and inspire our TEAM

December 2011
Vol. 2, No. 12

First Anniversary Issue

Delegates who presented/attended the EMBLEM Scientific session at the 8th AORTIC Conference in Cairo

Delegates who presented/attended the EMBLEM Scientific session at the 8th AORTIC Conference in Cairo

The first EMBLEM Newsletter was published one year ago. On this first birthday, we take a look back at the progress of the year.

EMBLEM Uganda had enrolled their first few cases of BL in November 2010. They have now not only enrolled a total of 67 cases, but have also enrolled some 210 controls from both community and health centers. The control enrollment is the fruit of both the census taking which involved 7500 people and the village sensitization efforts put forth in 12 districts. EMBLEM Uganda has also, along with Kenya, held Community Advisory Board meetings. Tanzania and Kenya EMBLEM teams have both arrived at the starting line for case enrollment, with both the laboratory and staff in place.

EMBLEM took its first steps on the international scene during the 3 day biannual AORTIC Conference in Cairo, Egypt a few weeks ago. A special session on NCI funded research highlighted the EMBLEM study and included presentations on preparation and implementation activities of the study. The blog of the conference is available.

Sam in front of the sphinxAs part of setting up the study, Dr. Sam Mbulaiteye, overall PI for EMBLEM, routinely leaps over tall buildings and flies around the world. The EMBLEM team was not surprised, therefore, to see that he was easily able to tame the Sphinx - a metaphorical allusion to the effort required to bring EMBLEM from an idea to a study that holds dreams and hopes for many in East Africa.
Dr. Esther Kawira, Editor

EMBLEM TANZANIA

L to R Ben Emmanuel, Josiah Magatti, Dr. Esther and Dr. Sam Mbulaiteye with poster

L to R Ben Emmanuel, Josiah Magatti, Dr. Esther and Dr. Sam Mbulaiteye with poster

Final lab renovation was completed at Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza. The freezer, hood and centrifuge were installed, with microscope and QBC machine to follow. Major purchasing of lab supplies, office supplies, and office equipment was completed for all sites, including the Shirati site. Visibility of EMBLEM increased greatly with printing and posting of EMBLEM signs and posters at the office in the oncology ward.

Dr. Esther Kawira and Mr. Josiah Magatti, PI and Study Coordinator respectively, attended the AORTIC meeting in Cairo. They participated with a poster presentation and a PowerPoint presentation on EMBLEM Tanzania, covering background BL data for 10 years as well as the EMBLEM implementation.

During a site visit by Dr. Mbulaiteye, the Member of Parliament for Mwanza City, Hon. Wenje Dibogo, visited the EMBLEM office and was briefed on the EMBLEM study.

EMBLEM Kenya

EMBLEM Kenya Community Advisory Board posing for a picture in front of the EMBLEM Laboratory at Homabay

EMBLEM Kenya Community Advisory Board posing for a picture in front of the EMBLEM Laboratory at Homabay

Some EMBLEM Kenya Co-Investigators attended and presented at the AORTIC Conference which took place in Cairo, Egypt.

EMBLEM Kenya held its first workshop for the Community Advisory Board (CAB) members, who were given information about the EMBLEM Study, EMBLEM structure, and roles and functions of the CAB.  The CAB members were each awarded a certificate of attendance.

The EMBLEM Project was officially launched in Homabay on 16th December 2011 and the ceremony was well-attended.  The Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator, Hospital and District Management team were all present.

EMBLEM Uganda

One of the most important activities in the EMBLEM Study is storage of samples from participants. To maintain the integrity of these samples, they need to be stored at very low temperatures. The Thermofischer team completed installation of a CO2 Backup system for the freezer at EMBLEM Lacor. Enrollment of controls from Paloga Health Center and Barr Health Center continued with enrollment figures reaching 18 (07F,11M) and 08 (03F,05M),  respectively. To date, 132 cases (42F and 90M) have been screened, and 67 (20F and 47M) have been enrolled.

The regular community advisory Board (CAB) meetings took place at EMBLEM Lacor, but this time with the presence of the Principal Investigator.

Omarwot Andrew; another addition to EMBLEM family born to Charles Onek EMBLEM Uganda driver on 23rd November 2011

Omarwot Andrew; another addition to EMBLEM family born to Charles Onek EMBLEM Uganda driver on 23rd November 2011

Ismail D. Legason – Lab Scientist EMBLEM Uganda,  wife Halima Ederu and a baby boy Ashif Stryer who was born on 16th Nov, 2011

Ismail D. Legason – Lab Scientist EMBLEM Uganda, wife Halima Ederu and a baby boy Ashif Stryer who was born on 16th Nov, 2011


EMBLEM Newsletter is a monthly on-line publication based on contributions of the EMBLEM Study staff.
Editor: Dr. Esther Kawira
Reporters: EMBLEM Uganda – Isaac Otim; EMBLEM Kenya – Pam Akinyi Were; EMBLEM Tanzania – Josiah Magatti